Volunteer work can be a great way to give back to your community, gain valuable skills, and make new connections. However, it’s important to remember that there are potential risks involved with any type of volunteer work, especially if you’re working with vulnerable populations or in potentially hazardous environments.
To help mitigate these risks, many organizations use hold harmless agreements for volunteers. These agreements, also known as waiver and release forms, protect the organization from liability in the event that a volunteer is injured or causes harm while performing their duties.
What is a hold harmless agreement?
A hold harmless agreement is a legal instrument that releases one party from liability in the event of harm or injury. In the case of volunteer work, a hold harmless agreement is a document signed by the volunteer that waives their right to hold the organization responsible for any harm or injury that may occur while performing their duties.
What are the benefits of a hold harmless agreement for volunteers?
For volunteers, signing a hold harmless agreement provides peace of mind knowing that they are aware of the risks involved with their volunteer work and have acknowledged that they are assuming those risks voluntarily. It also protects the organization from potential legal action, which can be especially important for smaller organizations with limited resources.
What should a hold harmless agreement for volunteers include?
A hold harmless agreement for volunteers should be written clearly and include the following elements:
1. Description of the volunteer work: The agreement should clearly state the nature of the volunteer work and any potential risks involved.
2. Release of liability: The agreement should release the organization from liability for any harm or injury that may occur while the volunteer is performing their duties.
3. Assumption of risk: The agreement should acknowledge that the volunteer is assuming the risks involved with their volunteer work voluntarily.
4. Indemnification: The agreement should state that the volunteer agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the organization from any liability that may arise from their volunteer work.
5. Signatures: The agreement should be signed by both the volunteer and a representative of the organization.
Hold harmless agreements for volunteers are an important tool for protecting both volunteers and the organizations they work with. By acknowledging the potential risks involved with volunteer work and assuming those risks voluntarily, volunteers can participate in meaningful work while protecting themselves and their organizations from potential legal action.